ICTPH and SughuVazhvu Healthcare introduce bar-coded I-cards to streamline disease management

Nandita Vijay, BengaluruTuesday, August 21, 2012, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Healthcare (ICTPH) and SughuVazhvu Healthcare have introduced bar-coded identity cards as part of the rural micro health initiatives. This is a web-based patient-physician interaction and supply chain management for the village healthcare development.

The bar code allows screening, patient management and follow-ups. For the physicians from the modern and Ayush system of care, the bar-coded Identity cards have provided a big fillip in disease management, community engagement and wellness tracking.

The ICTPH kicked off its maiden field presence through its first Rural Micro Health Centre (RMHC) in November 2009. The working relationship between ICTPH and SughuVazhvu Healthcare, which are not- for-profit organizations, is to ensure that the former owns the knowledge capital and the latter specializes in the implementation.

The key objective of the Centre is to improve the well being of poor populations by focusing on designing, developing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare concerning India and the developing world. Its  researchers are working out devising models to increase the  accessibility of  healthcare. We provide services for the rural populations through a three-pronged focus on epidemiology, human capacity and healthcare solutions, said Zeena Johar, president, IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health and CEO, SughuVazhvu Healthcare.

Now the two organizations together provide a wide range of services at the village level including ophthalmology, and basic dental hygiene along with disease management, she added.

Under disease management, efforts are made to test for cardiovascular disorders where family history and patient parameters were recorded. There are  screening sessions for refractive errors to diagnose myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and cataract. There is also a hub and spoke mode for diagnostics. In the area of primary dentistry care, women health screening is conducted on  a regular basis. Beginning in 2009, the number of patients has now increased to 15,000 from 434, said Dr Johar who was in Bengaluru in connection with the All India Management Association conference on ‘Innovative and Sustainable Healthcare Management Strategies for Growth'.

In 2009, to increase access to healthcare services and  improve health outcomes for rural populations, ICTPH partnered with the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, USA to pilot the functionality and viability of nurse-managed Rural Micro Health Centres in Tamil Nadu. Under the collaboration, Penn Nursing faculty teamed up with the ICTPH team to develop Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) education in India, enhance census survey data analysis, and work on other areas of research.